Your Black Friday Strategy Guide

If you insist on going into the fray, here's what to do

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2012 5:44 PM CST

(Newser) – "Black Friday is for suckers," declares Farhad Manjoo in Slate—but, assuming you still insist on going shopping tomorrow, he has some advice. So do Caity Weaver in Gawker, Matthew Ong in US News and World Report, and Herb Weisbaum on Today:

  • Download some of the new Black Friday apps. Walmart and Macy's, for example, now offer mobile apps that feature in-store maps and directories so you can actually locate all the deals.
  • Check out what's available in advance. Sites like bfads.net, blackfriday.com, and blackfriday.gotadeal.com round up the circular ads, or click here for a rundown of what popular stores have planned for the day.
  • See if the stores you're hitting offer price-matching. You can check here, but you also need to make sure the policy doesn't exclude Black Friday sales.
  • Don't bother camping out. Some retailers have finally figured out that Black Friday campers deter a lot of less-dedicated shoppers, since they figure they'll just miss out on the "doorbusters." Walmart, for example, is guaranteeing that anyone who visits a store from 10pm to 11pm tonight will be able to score some of its deals, even if the products are out of stock.
  • Step away from the iPad 2. Apple put out a bunch of new products this year, but also kept older models that are missing a slew of neat features. So the iPad 2, while it may look like a deal, doesn't have the new iPad's high-resolution display. You'd be better off, and save more money, buying an iPad Mini. (For more of what not to buy, click here.)
  • Bring along a good attitude. "Just kidding," writes Weaver. "That's for suckers. Do NOT bring that. A murderous attitude will do." (Click for her entire hilarious guide.)
  • Of course, you could just stay home and get your shopping done in sane, mob-free conditions. Last year, 70% of Walmart and Target deals were available online for the same—or less. But what fun is that?

In this Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010, file photo, people line up outside Toys R Us as Black Friday sales begin, in Royal Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Rachel Mummey)
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